Windarra Banks – The Cod Grounds

Probably the most legendary dive site near Byron Bay and definitely the most requested by our divers, Windarra Banks is located 16 km North-East of the Brunswick Heads bar. Divers who are fortunate enough to have visited Windarra Banks in the past, rate it as one of Australia’s best dive sites. Being so far out, diving at Windarra Banks is extremely subject to sea conditions and very hard to plan. Not only do sea conditions have to be favourable on the day to make the 16 km journey acceptable for our customers, we also have to take into account the ocean currents that run along the East Coast of Australia. The strength of the current can’t be predicted from shore and is independent of the weather pattern, so the only way to know is to go out and check it.

The dive site consists of two enormous bommies or sea mountains approximately 500 metres apart and a lot of rocky country rising up to about 25 metres depth with the sandy bottom at about 45 to 50 metres. Due to it’s location and depth, Windarra Banks is a truly challenging dive site for the more experienced diver.

You can see several types of shark including Grey Nurse Sharks, Bronze Whalers, Tiger Sharks and Hammerheads as well as big schools of large pelagics including Kingfish, Tuna, Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo and Mackerel when in season. Since Windarra Banks is not dived frequently, most marine life is not used to scuba divers and especially sharks can be quite inquisitive. Throughout February and March of 2012, we saw big schools of Hammerhead Sharks swimming past. There has been a friendly dolphin hanging around the boat during surface intervals, and even a Whale Shark was seen out there earlier in the year. This is why the saying goes: “You could see ANYTHING out there”.

Header Image Copyright Graeme Haas